Farm to Table Dining

We recently enjoyed dinner in The Kitchen at the J. W. Marriott Grande Lakes on Central Florida Parkway, only 20 minutes from Solivita.  We parked our car at the door, left our keys with the valet, and were warmly greeted by the Staff of the J.W.  We met friends and began our evening with inspired cocktails and locally brewed craft beer.  Cold and Delicious.

It may sound like we were eating in a kitchen, but The Kitchen is the name of one of the J.W.’s Restaurants.  Great spot serving food grown on their farm plus food sourced locally from organic growers.  What fun, and only a short drive from Solivita.  We enjoyed a laid back, peaceful, evening.  The Kitchen is furnished with Comfy Chairs, Small Intimate Tables, and Large Farmhouse Tables.  Trendy, but comfortable.  The wait staff is knowledgeable and when asked; were happy to share preparation, garden, apiary, and brewery info with us.  What a Treat, to have this great spot only a few miles from Solivita.  We enjoyed an assortment of meat and cheese (our choices from the chef’s picks).  Our selection was playfully served on a beautiful platter.  Our meat and cheese choices were brilliant, the tray included crisp, lightly pickled vegetables, cheddar chive biscuits, honey and honeycomb, fresh ricotta, rhubarb chutney; and crackers, all grown and produced on the property.    A fun, enjoyable way to share a meal.  Small plates, with a menu including interesting flatbreads, local grass-fed beef, organic chicken, and delicious seafood.   After dinner, it was a quick drive back to Solivita.  A perfect ending to the perfect day.

Easy Entertaining In Solivita

Since living in Solivita we seem to have company all the time.  Friends and Family visiting the parks stop in for an evening, some stay for a few days, some just stop by for lunch or dinner.  Lee and I have found a few recipes that can be assembled quickly and make a delicious company meal.  I would like to share one with you that I made last week when Lee’s family stopped in.

Tortellini with Prosciutto or Pancetta and Peas

This recipe is not only delicious, but most of the time, the ingredients are in my freezer and refrigerator.  To make this into a complete meal I serve this with a salad and a dish of fruit for dessert and dinner is done.  Our neighbor Marilyn calls this one “Easy Peasy”.   

1 Lb Tortellini (cheese, spinach, or even mushroom)

1/4 – 1 /2 cup water, reserved from cooking pasta  

3 tbsp butter

2 garlic cloves minced

½ onion diced and sauted.

¼ lb prosciutto sliced thinly or pancetta cubed

1 1/4 cup cream or half and half

1 pinch nutmeg

At least ¼ cup parmesan cheese grated

1 cup frozen baby peas, thawed by running under cool water and drained.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Instructions:

Cook tortellini according to package

Melt butter in skillet and add prosciutto or pancetta and cook for a few minutes.

Add Garlic to skillet and cook for one more minute.

Add cream and bring to a simmer.

Add nutmeg and simmer until cream is thickened and reduced by about ½

Turn off heat.  Stir in Parmesan, peas and sautéed onions.

Stir in reserved cooking liquid to thin sauce, add tortellini and toss to coat.

Taste for salt and pepper

Bella Verde Realty Supports Military Homebuyers

Bella Verde Realty Supports Military Homebuyers.  No Down Payment, No PMI, and Flexible Credit Requirements.

Call Lorraine Valdes at 407-572-4040 to ask how you can use your Hard Earned VA Loan Benefits.

Fabulous Brunch at the Boheme 45 Minutes from Solivita

Recently we Enjoyed a Special Occasion Brunch at The Boheme in Downtown Orlando.  Years ago, when living in the New York Area, a Fabulous, Luxurious, Sunday Brunch was de regular, but since relocating to the laid-back lifestyle of Solivita, a Sunday Brunch in the City, at least for us, has become an uncommon event.

The Boheme Restaurant in the Grand Bohemian Hotel in Orlando awakened our memory of how lovely a Sunday Bruch can be and we are incorporating this former enjoyable afternoon into our Solivita Lifestyle.  Why wait to enjoy this relaxing pleasure?    The Boheme is beautiful, the décor is hot, but relaxing, and begged us to linger over the sumptuous splurge that the Chef’s prepared for our enjoyment.

Musicians played Contemporary Jazz in the background, waiters liberally poured a dry, delicious champagne, and the chefs prepared and plated a beautiful assortment of food that is was as much a treat for our eyes as for our taste buds.  Together, with our fellow diners, we had a delightful afternoon in Orlando, the city near Solivita.

Having lived only five miles from NYC, we ran in and out of the city at whim.  As they say, “every coin has two sides”; true NYC had many benefits but many challenges too.  Since being in Florida and living On Campus in Solivita, we find ourselves avoiding the I4 commute to the city.  Our Bad, downtown Orlando has much to offer, and if you stay on Orange Avenue you can travel to Orlando and back to Solivita (of course not during commuting hours) and avoid I4 all together.   This Sunday, we tested the theory.  Door to Door –  Orlando to Solivita 55 minutes; without one mile on I4.  Nice way to go.

Lots of fabulous places in Downtown Orlando to visit and starting now we are going to visit downtown and add some Southern City Fun to our lives.

Swinging In Solivita

Recently while showing homes in Kissimmee, I found myself showing two homes with front porch swings. I loved the look and the serene feeling of stepping onto your front porch and having a great place to sit back and relax. What a perfect spot to enjoy a sweet tea or a glass of wine while sitting pretty on your front porch. Both the homes I visited left me with a warm nostalgic feeling; both had beautifully designed swings, one modern and one traditional. Truly a beautiful touch for your Solivita home.

I did a bit of investigating and found that porch swings are making a major comeback. Of course, today they are a bit more contemporary with sleek silhouettes, fresh colors, and lots of pillows, but they are still beautiful and will add value to your home and your life.

In fact, the buyer of one of the homes I recently sold outside of Solivita said ”when I stepped onto the porch, and saw the swing, I knew I had to own this home”. The sale was made from the time we stepped onto the front porch. It’s very interesting what buyers see. This is a great reason to view your home with a critical eye and make sure your home looks as good outside as it does inside. Curb appeal counts. From this example, it is evident that you never know what may trigger a buyer to purchase your Solivita home. Our new neighbor plans to decorate her porch with pots of ferns and flowering plants, an outdoor carpet for texture, and lots of pillows for the swing. The colors she is planning to use are aqua and lime green. This certainly sounds like an inviting place to relax on a cool evening after a long day.

This will likely be a future installation on my own front porch. So, if you find yourself driving around Solivita, and see me swinging, this is your invitation to come sit and swing with me.

Summer is Road Trip Time

Recently we jumped in our car and spent a few days away from Solivita. Usually we drive to Miami or the Keys, but this summer’s road trip led us to the Gulf Coast. Summer is the perfect time to leave the campus of Solivita and explore the beauty that Florida offers. The Florida Gulf Coast is only a few short hours away, but it is a world apart. We love every moment of life in Solivita, but occasionally a change of pace is nice and necessary. We drove to Fort Myers, stopped at Spinnakers for the view, a beer and a Florida Black Grouper Sandwich, crossed the Sanibel Island Causeway, and in a few short minutes we were on the beach in Sanibel. A lovely, quiet spot. Sanibel and Captiva are quiet off season; making Summer the perfect time to visit. With the beauty of Florida in our backyard there is no reason for the hassle, time and expense involved in taking a plane trip to the islands. From our Solivita Driveway, Lee and I easily slipped behind the wheel, played a few tunes, applied some sunblock, and were on the beach the same afternoon.

The gulf is beautiful, the islands are quaint, the beaches are deserted and the restaurants are wonderful. We fished, we sailed, and every evening we saw breath taking sunsets on our beach. Daily while swimming we watched the dolphins play. How lucky we are to live in such a beautiful State surrounded by wildlife, blue water, and the great activities Florida and Solivita offer

Designer-Inspired Room Makeover

Q: What do you get when you cross Japanese and Scandinavian Design?

A: Why Japandi (Of Course)

Japandi is a new hot trend in the home decorating arena. When you think about both styles, they do have many similarities. Both styles have clean lines, emphasize simplicity, are minimalistic, and are without frills. This look is now setting a new standard for home luxury and comfort, and with a bit of shopping, some redesign, and decluttering, you too can bring this look to your Solivita home.

Here’s how to achieve this look.

Since minimalism is a common trait to both Japanese and Nordic design, to achieve the Japandi look, first you will need to do away with clutter, and add a few impactful statement pieces. Flood your life and your room with natural light. Use a few dramatic accents with an unexpected color blend to bring out the fine features of a clutter-free room centered on neutrals, bright natural sunlight, and natural materials. Choose stone, wood, and organic fabrics in pastel colors and indoor plants without blossoms to bring a fresh Zen-like quality to your space. Have some fun with creating a new style for yourself and your home.

This new look seems to capture the best of both worlds and could be the inspiration for your Solivita home or room makeover. The experts predict Japandi will be trendy and stylish for years to come, so why not adopt this fresh new look for your own home and stay trendy and fresh Japandi-style.

Summertime In Solivita Florida

Summertime In Solivita Florida

Sights From Summertime In Solivita Florida

Every Season in Solivita offers residents and guests something special. Summertime in Solivita Florida brings lazy afternoons at the pool, fireworks, cookouts, beautiful summer storms, and yes summer heat. Read more

Flags Over Solivita Retirement Community

Patriotic Retirement: Living In Solivita Retirement Community

Solivita Retirement Community Determined To Be Most Patriotic

Looking for yet another great reason why living in Solivita retirement community, Florida’s 4th largest active retirement community, is amazing? If you think about the two championship golf courses, countless recreation courts, spas, pools, fitness centers, and wonderful dining options, you might say, “what more could I ask for out of a retirement oasis?” Read more

Central Florida Rainstorms Bella Verde Realty

Cozy Solivita Summer Days Courtesy Of Central Florida Rainstorms

No Drought Here Thanks To Central Florida Rainstorms

Glad to say the drought in Florida seems to be ending! Here in Solivita, we get those kinds of Central Florida rainstorms that make the news. It is rainy season and we are experiencing afternoon rainstorms. Our ponds are again full and teeming with life. The frogs are singing and the turtles are relaxing on the shores of our lakes and streams. The afternoon rain is welcome, it brings a bit of cool, and the sound of it bouncing off the roof is pleasant and lyrical. Read more